NFL Predictions for Wildcard Weekend
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NFL Predictions for Wildcard Matchups
There are 6 great football games this weekend as the playoffs kick off in the NFL. There will be 2 games on Saturday, 3 on Sunday, and then the final contest on Monday. Check out my bets for each game right here on USA Wager!
Bengals vs Raiders
The Bengals and Raiders square off in the first game of the postseason. Both squads are extremely similar to each other and hold onto 10-7 records. The Bengals got the best of the Raiders in the first matchup back in November, but we’ll see if there are different results this time around.
Joe Burrow is incredible and he finished the regular season as one of the most improved players for sure. Jamarr Chase is also a star and he set the record for the most regular-season receiving yards in Bengals history. Joe Mixon was also able to play consistently well this year with 16 total touchdowns. Watch out for Cincinnati in the postseason!
The Raiders are always a team that I sleep on, but they seem to exceed my expectations every year. Las Vegas ended up winning their last 4 games to slide comfortably into the playoffs thanks to solid defensive play and Derek Carr playing great football. Josh Jacobs was an essential part of the offense and he rushed for 132 yards and a TD in the final game against the Chargers.
This game is going to be such an entertaining one with two inconsistent teams. I see the Bengals pouncing on the Raiders early just like their previous meeting. Both Mixon and Chase scored touchdowns and they should be ready for another huge workload. The good thing for the Raiders is that Darren Waller will be available for this crucial matchup. But still, bet the Bengals!
- NFL Prediction by Drew Knuppel: Bengals -5.5
Bills vs Patriots
The Bills and Patriots face off in their third fight of the year, and I have a feeling it will be similar to the first matchup. It is expected to be sub-zero temperatures in Buffalo and that could affect both teams’ passing games. The battle between Josh Allen and Mac Jones will be exciting, but the run game could make the difference in the freezing cold.
The Patriots ended off the year with an unpromising 2-3 record. Mac Jones started to make some rookie mistakes and his team was punished for that. Damien Harris had a terrific season rushing and he ended the year with a whopping 15 touchdowns. This New England defense was incredible all season, and I expect them to force Allen into some turnovers in this one.
The Bills were pretty solid all season aside from the loss to the Jaguars and Josh Allen was at the helm of their success. His duel threat of running for first downs and then throwing missiles to Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley all season was incredible and he’ll be the reason the Bills win easily.
I love Buffalo to rout the Patriots regardless of the weather. They beat them in week 16 33-21 and Allen had 3 touchdowns. Damien Harris has the Bill’s run defense in shambles in their past few matchups, but I think Buffalo will figure out how to contain him. I would hammer Buffalo, as I see this being a blowout in favor of the Bills!
- NFL Prediction by Drew Knuppel: Bills -4.5
Buccaneers vs Eagles
The Buccaneers and Eagles will battle in their first game of the playoffs. The Bucs are still led by Tom Brady but have lost Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, and now Leonard Fournette to injury. The Eagles are a tough team and have a ton of grit. Their run game is very good, but so is Tampa’s run defense.
Jalen Hurts has been great running the ball year, and been a solid thrower as well with a little over 3,00o yards on the year. They just love to pound the ball and will have Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, and Kenneth Gainwell rushing a ton. To compete against the Bucs, the Eagles will need to find Devonta Smith and Dallas Goedert on some long passes.
The Buccaneers are the former champs and still have the goat as well as a solid defense. Brady is going to throw a ton of touchdowns in this one, and it’s going to be to a ton of different people. Maybe one to Gronk and Evans, and then two to miscellaneous guys. Regardless, Brady should be just fine without some of his top guys.
Philadelphia does have a lot of fight, but I’m not sure if it’ll be enough to beat the reigning champs. I think their run-heavy offense will be exposed and they’ll force Jalen Hurts into some turnovers. Bet the Bucs all the way!
- NFL Prediction by Drew Knuppel: Bucaneers -8
Cowboys vs 49ers
The Cowboys and 49ers match up in a very good game between the 3 and 6 seeds. The Cowboys ended the season winning 5 of their last 6 games and played terrific offense, scoring 50+ points twice in the last 3 games. The 49ers are always surprisingly good and they ended the year with two wins to sneak into the playoffs.
San Franciso’s win was very impressive against the Rams and I liked what I saw from the run scheme. Deebo Samuel continues to be a ridiculous duel threat as a wide receiver and running back, and should score a few touchdowns. George Kittle must get back on track as he just had 5 catches for 10 measly yards in their last win.
Dallas has had an up and down offensive season, and it all starts with Dak. In the final game of the year, he recorded 5 touchdowns to break the single-season passing record for the Cowboys. Skilled position guys such as Ezekial Elliot, Amari Cooper, and Ceedee Lamb are all elite and they should see most of the workload in this game.
I see the Cowboys winning this one in a close game. They have big playmakers on defense, so if they can create turnovers then they’ll be in good shape. Dallas also has great potential on offense and I believe they score 30+ points in the win at home.
- NFL Prediction by Drew Knuppel: Cowboys -3
Chiefs vs Steelers
The Chiefs and Steelers clash in a game that didn’t go so well for Pittsburgh last time they played. The Chiefs got hot by the end of the season and won 9 of their last 10 contests. The Steelers just barely sneaked into the playoffs, avoiding an almost tie between the Raiders and the Chargers.
Kansas City is still an explosive team on both sides of the ball, but especially on offense. Patrick Mahomes was one of the best QBs in the league all year and he ended the year with 37 touchdowns. Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill were elite catching the ball and each caught 9 TDs. Their run game will be missing Clyde-Edwards Elaire, so Damien Williams will be the featured back.
The Steelers are hanging in their with Big Ben, but not by much. Roethlisburger had a solid ending to the season, consistently making big throws in wins against the Browns and the Ravens. Getting Najee Harris going is a must heading into this one, as he was held to 93 yards in the loss in Week 12 to the Chiefs. Diontae Johnson should have a big game as well.
I like the Chiefs to blowout the Steelers, especially at home. Big Ben doesn’t have the arm or the assets to really around him, once they’re done so Kansas City should win easy. Mahomes will spread the ball to Hill and Kelce in the big win!
- NFL Prediction by Drew Knuppel: Chiefs -12.5
Rams vs Cardinals
The Rams and Cardinals will be the lone game featured on Monday Night Football and this will be a really good one. The Cardinals lost 4 of their last 5 games and one of those was against the Rams. Los Angles has such a solid offense and defense and will definitely be tough to beat, but I like Kyler Murray’s chances.
The Cardinals did lose DeAndre Hopkins for the year, but are expecting JJ Watt to return to the lineup which is a game changer. Kyler Murray is truly a stud at quarterback and should make some plays for Arizona to score some points. James Connor was also solid all year and scored a ton of red zone touchdowns.
The Rams have Matthew Stafford at the helm of their offense and he was incredible in this new system. He gave Cooper Kupp his best receiving season of his career and also hit Odell Beckham Jr. multiple times for scores. Their run game with Darell Henderson Jr. was solid all year and the Rams have a great defense.
With all of that being said about the Rams, I really like the Cardinals to at least cover and maybe win the game. Both of these teams are very similarly matched up and I think Arizona will play well on the road and potentially take the victory!
- NFL Prediction by Drew Knuppel: Cardinals +3.5